Liar’s Poker

Liar's Poker

Liar’s Poker
By Michael Lewis

Liar’s Poker is a riveting memoir by author Michael Lewis, documenting his introduction to the world of high stakes trading. Lewis speaks candidly about his hand in a turbulent era for American business, opening up about his hand in the ever-changing securities landscape and the business of deception that led the bonds market to be on of the most lucrative in the world.

Michael Lewis is a Princeton graduate and former star employee of the industry behemoth Salomon Brothers; in this memoir, he documents his rise to the top of the financial industry, its moral and cultural implications, and the psychology of the biggest players in the game.

  • Chapters 1-2 document the transition Lewis underwent form his days of academia to his time on the fast-paced front lines of the bonds industry. Lewis paints a vivid picture of both a dream come true and a cautionary tale; a must-read for the aspiring investor.
  • In Chapter 3, Learning to Love Your Corporate Culture, Lewis looks back with an analytic mind and skillful pen at the nature of the industry and his fledgling place within the corporate structure of wall street. The chapter artfully displays an eager young man, driven -though not always by the right reasons, to secure his place in the financial market.
  • Chapters 4-5 dive into the competitive culture of Wall Street, as Lewis opens up about his desires and the intentions of the other young men competing against him. He speaks about his co-workers as a group almost as close as brothers ,all captivated by how to make it on Wall Street, and willing to rise to the top by any means necessary.
  • The Fat Men and Their Marvelous Money Machine makes up the 6th Chapter of the book and features the author reminiscing on the overlords that held his fate in their hand. He portrays a dichotomy between the men at the top and the hard-working brokers at the bottom making money hand over fist for their employers. He marvels at the divinity of the Wall Street machine, its market elasticity, and its various rises and falls.
  • Chapters 7-8 feature Lewis as he rises through the ranks of the Wall Street Goliath, securing his place with every trade, every closed deal, every dollar made.
  • Chapter 9 illustrates life on the front lines of Wall Street. The Chapter, aptly titled The Art of War, gives the reader a first-hand account of the skills necessary to make money in the market regardless of current conditions.
  • Chapter 10 looks at the effects of the traders on the market as well as their customers. The author looks back with a keen eye at how his sales and decisions affected a nation during his time in the market.
  • Chapter 11 serves up an eye-opening look at Wall Street when everything doesn’t go according to plan. Lewis divulges information in this chapter on the pitfalls and inherent hubris of the money-making machine.

Reviewers from all over the nation have found the book to be a piercing and often times funny look at the world of Wall Street as seen through the eyes of its elite, professional outlets have praised Lewis’s writing ability, and the book has been placed on many authors best-of lists.

If you’ve ever wondered if you could play hold ’em in the big leagues of the financial elite, put your chips in and let Lewis deal you a dose of financial market life; through the eyes of the successful. Are you all in?

Reviewed by: William Oscar Updyke

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